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Byron Shire
November 30, 2021

Rail opponents misinformed

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What’s happened to altruistic attitude of northern rivers residents?

I’m a passionate advocate of returning trains to our tracks, not because it will help me or my business, but because it would be good for our community. It will: alleviate traffic congestion; disperse tourists out of Byron and to other towns and villages that could do with the cash boost & more jobs; and provide some much needed public transport for locals.

I love the idea of a rail trail. I only request that the train tracks are left in place and the bike path set next to the existing line. But the rail-trailers seem hell-bent on destroying the line.

Now some Sunrise people are opposing the reopening of the track, armed with fear and misinformation. OMG! It’s all peace, love and mung beans unless a train goes past your house.

The train line was built in 1894, and has been there a lot longer than most houses in the area – that’s akin to people moving apartment blocks to Milsons Point in Sydney and then complaining about the noise at Luna Park.

A train will provide Sunrise residents with a non-congested transport link to Byron and provide transport for visitors wanting to access the Arts and Industry Estate.

Let’s all get on board returning the trains to the tracks – for the good of the community.

Wendy Bithell, Brunswick Heads


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  1. Wendy – glad to see that you like the idea of a rail trail! But it must be instead of the train not alongside it. There is clearly not room for both – it’s one or the other.

    Bring on the rail trail – the sooner the better.

  2. Bring on the train!
    And Neil, you are wrong in this case, as the Beach Resort’s rail shuttle will have a trail beside it, and it has the support of the rail trail group.

  3. I really fail to see how one WWII train is going to alleviate traffic congestion in Byron. I guess the truth will be if it is running in a year unlike the failed tourist train that was previously introduced on the line and lasted less than a year.

    The region does not need trains – it needs better integrated public transport. Read the ARUP report on public transport in the region. Of course train supporters dish this report because it doesn’t support their nostalgic idea of returning trains.

    Bring on the rail trail which have been proven to bring tourism, economic and employment benefits to small villages and communities.

  4. People who support wasting $50m ripping up the Casino to Murwillumbah train line for a cycleway have been telling the community ‘trains won’t be coming back’.

    Now that a train will be running in December they are saying ‘the train won’t alleviate traffic congestion’.

    Well they are clearly wrong on all counts.

    The train will be running by December and won’t cost taxpayers billions as stated in the ARUP study. Better still, it will not cost taxpayers one cent. All indications are people will be beating a path to use it, which means many cars will be taken off the congested Ewingsdale Road.

    There is enormous potential for the Casino to Murwillumbah line to provide transport for locals and 4.6m tourists to the region, especially when the 22ks of line is built to connect it with the Qld line at Coolangatta.

    Ripping the line up for a cycleway will not provide transport for anyone, or take one car off our roads.


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